RCUK Open Access Funding Update: Block Grant Closed until April 2019

Following our blog post in May regarding the 2018-2019 Block Grant for RCUK Open Access, unfortunately we are now no longer able to accept any further applications for open access funding from RCUK-funded authors until next April as this year’s funding has been fully allocated.

We expect to be in receipt of further open access funds from April 2019. (If additional funds do happen to be secured in the meantime this will be made available on a first-come-first-serve basis). Until then, unless alternative funds are available to pay for gold open access, RCUK-funded researchers should submit their articles to subscription (‘hybrid’) journals and should not choose to publish under the paid-for open access option. Instead, authors will be able to deposit their accepted manuscripts in Research Online, where we will make the article open access after the embargo period stipulated by the publisher.

MRC-funded authors should aim to choose a journal with an embargo period no longer than 6 months (and ensure their article is also deposited in Europe PubMed Central – the journal may do this on your behalf), while authors funded by other RCUK bodies are permitted a 12 month embargo. Embargo periods can be checked on Sherpa/Romeo, but please contact the Research Publications Team via ServiceDesk if you are unsure.

An alternative is to publish in a free-to-publish open access journal. These can be explored via DOAJ.


The open access funds for COAF (Charities Open Access Fund; comprising Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and others) are managed separately. We can continue to cover open access fees for Wellcome Trust-funded research articles as normal – please apply for funding via ServiceDesk. Cancer Research UK and British Heart Foundation funded authors are advised to get in contact via ServiceDesk prior to submitting to open access journals, since our funds are now limited to Wellcome Trust papers only. We expect our COAF funds to be refreshed in October 2018, at which point we can continue to fund Cancer Research UK and British Heart Foundation-funded articles as usual.

N.B. Where an eligible article acknowledges funding from a Wellcome Trust grant and an UKRI/RCUK grant held by the School, we are only able to cover 50% of the fee.

Jointly funded initiatives such as the Joint Global Health Trials Scheme and Health Systems Research Initiative are not eligible for Wellcome Trust open access funding since they are administrated by RCUK/MRC.

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